Court Jails Ex-minister 20 Years For Crime

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A Swiss court on Wednesday convicted a former government minister from Gambia of crimes against humanity under former dictator Yahya Jammeh and jailed him for 20 years.

The Federal Criminal Court found Ousman Sonko guilty on several counts of intentional homicide, torture and false imprisonment.

Sonko, who was dismissed as Gambia’s interior minister in 2016, was acquitted of rape.

“In its verdict … the trial chamber found Ousman Sonko guilty of multiple counts of intentional homicide, multiple counts of torture and multiple counts of deprivation of liberty, each as a crime against humanity,” the court said in a statement.

“The Trial Chamber concludes that Ousman Sonko committed these crimes…. as part of a systematic attack against the civilian population.”

The judgment can be appealed.

Sonko is the highest-ranking official ever to be tried in Europe using universal jurisdiction which allows the most serious crimes to be prosecuted anywhere.

Geneva-based campaign group TRIAL International filed the original criminal complaint against Sonko and supported the plaintiffs.

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